Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Inside the 'dead zone': In an outdoor laboratory at Texas' Sam Houston State University

Afraid of death? Take comfort that you’ll live on in varied and surprising ways

Most of us would rather not know what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways.
Bianca Jonkers* was gang raped and the free Vimba! app puts helped her access counselling and care.

‘I would have killed myself’: Free app puts care at rape survivors’ fingertips

In Diepsloot, Bhekisisa's Vimba! app is helping rape survivors access life-saving care and treatment.
Loveth was trafficked from Nigeria to Italy. Since PIAM was founded

Trafficked to Turin: The Nigerian women forced into sex work abroad in Italy

Thousands of women are lured from Nigeria to Italy annually by the promise of a new life, only to find themselves trapped in the sex trade.

Rural hospitals in terminal crisis

Accessing healthcare in this rural town has never been easy. Shortages of staff as well as medical equipment makes it difficult for...

A doctor born of hope

This man from rural Eastern Cape had to travel all the way to Cuba to make his dream of becoming a doctor come true. Now, he is back home and treating patients at the same hospital his mother used to sell fruit in front of when he was a boy.
cerebral palsy

A parent’s place? Meet the women fighting for space at SA’s rural hospitals

Botched births and infections can leave many babies with a life-long inheritance: Cerebral palsy. Many will be dependent on caregivers for...
A woman watches from her window as police look for evidence after 20-year-old Carlos Barron was shot and killed in Chicago. The city is still very racially segregated and has high rates of violence.

This slashed rates of violence by 70% in some areas. Could it work in...

In many ways, violence is like cholera, passing from person to person and treating it in similar ways is working to reduce it.
A girl living with albinism has her eyes tested. A new regional plan by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights calls for the affordable provision of eye care and sunscreen to people living with the condition.

Waiting to disappear: The danger of being too pale

Ikponwosa Ero went from a child who felt different to the United Nations’ first independent expert on albinism.

Elsa and Nosipho: They both sell sex for a living, but in opposite worlds

Does sex work legislation have an impact on violence and the spread of HIV? We follow two women who operate in opposite worlds to find out.
Being bilingual is better for your brain. Now

Speak more than one language? This is what it does to your brain.

Speaking more than one language could lead to better tests scores and even being a more empathetic person.
Bridging the gap: Pupils at the Emerald Hill School for the Deaf learning sign language. The majority of deaf people in Zimbabwe reportedly cannot read or write.

Hospitals introduce sign language to bridge gap between the deaf and care

Some hospitals are introducing sign language to help deaf patients.

The long walk back to yourself: How this hospital revolutionised rural rehabilitation

Bhojana Mathunywa was attacked by four men for bag of tobacco. Now, slowly but surely, this team of rural therapists is helping him recover the everyday skills he lost. (Dylan Bush, Bhekisisa)

What developing countries can teach the Global North about how to respond to a...

When it comes to leadership and innovation, there's much that industrialised nations can learn.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Meet Zweli Mkhize, the man behind SA’s #COVID-19 response

Follow the country's health minister's journey from trainee doctor to his current role leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in...
From the informal market to booming business: Could this be the future of water?

Water in Ghana from pipe to packet: Is there a hidden cost to this...

In a country where pipes can stop short of reaching home, cheap sachets of water sold on the street could be an unlikely solution, but at what cost?

A tale of two pandemics: Is COVID-19 repeating the mistakes of HIV’s past?

In South Africa, two outbreaks are colliding and one thing may shape the future of both.